Sheriff Hoping to Resurface Seven Unsolved Murders

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Northern Virginia Bureau reporter David Culver talks with officials in Fauquier County who are asking for money to start a cold case unit. (Published Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014)

    The Fauquier County Sheriff's Office is working to help solve seven murders dating back to 1981. 

    Sheriff Charlie Ray Fox, Jr. and Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Fisher are requesting roughly $600,000 from the county's funds to create a cold case unit.

    "We're seeking to develop a cold case unit that will focus upon unsolved murders in Fauquier County that date back to early 80s," Fisher said. "It's nearly universal support, almost 100% support for this because folks know that the money is money well spent on a good effort to do justice."

    "Right now, each of these cases is assigned to a detective who currently has a full caseload," Lt. James Hartman said.

    The idea is something Midland, Va. resident Carlo Bertelli's supports wholeheartedly. Bertelli's stepson's death is one of those unsolved murders.

    "We miss him. God, do we miss him, " Bertelli said.

    In April 2003, 20-year-old Bryan Mace had the day off from work. He went to get a video game from Blockbuster and returned to home.

    Investigators believe Mace walked in on burglars.

    Bertelli happened to return home, where he found Mace's body.

    "I was pretty panicked anyhow and running around the house trying to find him, I couldn't find him. Come downstairs and found him laying in the hall," Bertelli said. "When I drug him outside, I noticed when I could get into the light that he had been shot, because they shot him in the head."

    The gunman behind Mace's death is still a mystery. 

    "We can see the goal line we just can't get there quite yet," Lt. Hartman added.

    As for Bertelli, he checks in with detectives once a month on his stepson's case. For the past 11 years, his wife has saved vacation days, hoping to spend them on the trial that'll bring her son's killer to justice.

    "People don't understand how hard it is to really not have closure," Bertelli said. "[But] I think eventually they're going to find them."